Navigating the Holidays When You're LGBTQ+

2 min read

The holidays can bring light, hope, and togetherness into our lives. For some people who identify as LGBTQ+, the holidays can remind us of difficult memories, or even create new concerns. Here are some things to consider in advance, along with some ways to handle them.

Planning ahead. Make mental notes about potential difficulties that could come up, and prepare for them. What are your triggers that come up around family and friends? Having planned responses like, "I guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree on that one. Would you like some more turkey?" can really help shift the mood.

Conflicts with family members. Consider whether it is helpful for you to be together with relatives when conflicts exist. Relatives who do not accept your identity, who hold extreme political views, or who are disrespectful might not be good for your well-being. The same goes for relatives who are constantly negative or who have narcissistic behaviors. Conflicts during holidays can be damaging and long-lasting. Seeing these relatives another time could be less stressful.

Self-medication. Substances like alcohol, weed, or other drugs may be easily accessible during celebrations. It can be easy to get carried away when you're partying. This can lead to a spiral of drama and regret. Set limits for yourself and stick to them. 

Your home, your rules. If relatives or friends come to visit, it's okay to set your own boundaries and "house rules." Some areas to consider could be:

  • Drinking, smoking, and other substances: Are they allowed? If so, where and when?
  • Sleep where you like: Pressure to sleep apart from a partner because of a non-accepting relative's opinion can feel invalidating to you and your partner.
  • Hotel options: Planning for guests to stay in a nearby hotel can be a huge relief. This can be especially true if your home is small or crowded already. Being able to say "good night" until the next day can make visits more manageable.
  • Alone time: It's perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to breathe, stretch, walk, or just do nothing. Alone time can help to stay centered.

Reconnecting with spiritual traditions. Many LGBTQ+ people have experienced rejection and trauma from religious people, yet they maintain their faith and spirituality. Attending services can feel like going back into the closet, or worse, especially when intolerant beliefs are being expressed. Many cities now have houses of worship and spiritual organizations that welcome LGBTQ+ people warmly. Exploring these alternatives can open a path to healing and spiritual connection that felt closed before.

At Lifeologie, Jim Ming sees clients in Dallas and Fort Worth who are working on these issues, and many other emotional and mental health concerns. If this sounds like you, please call us at (214) 357-4001 to discuss Lifeologie's counseling services.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 for support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.

About Jim Ming

Jim helps clients find solutions for life’s challenges, including adjustment issues, relationships, stress management, depression, grief, and anxiety. Jim uses a humanistic, practical, and action-oriented approach.

View Profile